Wex­ford man jailed for seven years

Enniscorthy Guardian - - NEWS -

A WEX­FORD man has been sen­tenced to seven years im­pris­on­ment for his part in a drugs smug­gling oper­a­tion in Aus­tralia.

Brian Thomas Fo­ley pleaded guilty to at­tempt­ing to pos­sess co­caine with in­tent to suppy; with con­spir­acy with in­tent to sup­ply; with deal­ing with the $54,659.81 (€36,627.92), the pro­ceeds of crime; and with two counts of us­ing iden­ti­fi­ca­tion ma­te­rial to fa­cil­i­tate the com­mis­sion of an in­dictable of­fence.

Dur­ing last Thurs­day’s sen­tenc­ing at Perth mag­is­trates court, Judge Stephen Scott told Fo­ley he was sen­tenc­ing him on the ba­sis that the role he played was less sig­nif­i­cant than that played by Liam Driscoll, who has al­ready been sen­tenced.

How­ever, the judge said a mes­sage needs to be sent as best it can by sen­tenc­ing Fo­ley ‘ to those who in­tend or con­tem­plate deal­ing in drugs or be­ing in­volved in any way in the dis­tri­bu­tion of high or­der drugs that they will re­ceive.. sig­nif­i­cant, pun­ish­ment in the event that they do par­tic­i­pate’.

‘ The State ac­cepts Driscoll was es­sen­tially the principal of this en­ter­prise. He had been im­port­ing co­caine for a sig­nif­i­cant time be­fore you got in­volved,’ said the judge.

‘Your in­volve­ment ini­tially was by send­ing money on his in­struc­tions which were to go over­seas. The money had been pro­vided to you by Driscoll to re­cip­i­ents ad­vised by Driscoll, know­ing that the money was - you know­ing that the money was to be sent to fi­nance the pur­chase of drugs.

‘You were in­volved in the two deals in­volv­ing nine ounces or about 250 grams of co­caine each. How­ever, Driscoll fi­nanced those im­por­ta­tions and the prof­its pri­mar­ily went to him. The con­tact in Ire­land who was pri­mar­ily the source of the co­caine was Driscoll’s con­tact.’

Judge Scott said Fo­ley, now aged 25, had a debt to Driscoll for the pur­chase of drugs.

‘ The drugs and moneys which you earned from your par­tic­i­pa­tion in the of­fences pri­mar­ily went in re­duc­tion of those debts and also liv­ing ex­penses.

‘You were, how­ever.. an im­por­tant and trusted sub­or­di­nate of Driscoll’s with re­spect to this en­ter­prise.. it’s not a mat­ter of try­ing to work out on a scale of one to 10 where you sit com­pared to Driscoll.. it is just is that he was the principal and you were a trusted - if not a lieu­tenant, some­where around about the mark of a - cer­tainly trusted sub­or­di­nate of Driscoll.

‘And he did more than just give you in­struc­tions. He also treated you as some­what of a con­fi­dante. So that he would have dis­cus­sions with you about the dis­po­si­tion of the end prod­uct,’ said Judge Scott.

‘You had been in­volved in the im­por­ta­tion and the sale of co­caine since at least Novem­ber 2013. And that’s ev­i­dent by the start of the money trans­fers in which you were in­volved over an 18-month pe­riod.

‘ The of­fences com­mit­ted by you were not iso­lated acts, they weren’t just an aber­ra­tion, but they were of­fences com­mit­ted in the course of con­duct of drug im­por­ta­tion and ul­ti­mate sale over at least 18 months.

The judge re­ferred to Fo­ley’s friend­ship with fel­low Wex­ford man Kenny Meyler who was stabbed to death in in 2013.

‘You came to Aus­tralia at 19. You be­came very close to Mr Meyler with whom you shared an apart­ment in Perth. He was trag­i­cally stabbed to death in Fe­bru­ary 2013. I see that he was in a coma for a cou­ple of weeks prior to his death, and you main­tained a daily vigil at this bed­side.

‘It is clear that you were not only a very good friend of Mr Myler’s but you also were a staunch sup­porter of his par­ents which en­abled them to get through as best they could the tragic cir­cum­stances.

‘ There’s no doubt that those cir­cum­stances of his death had a pro­found ef­fect on you, and you do de­scribe your life spin­ning out of con­trol there­after as you dealt with that trauma.’

The judge gave Fo­ley a dis­count for some of his pleas of guilty of be­tween 10 and 20 per cent.

‘I ac­cept your remorse and I ac­cept that you’re sorry for what you’ve done. I ac­cept that you now have in­sight into the im­pact on those who take il­licit drugs of a high or­der such as co­caine and the im­pact on the com­mu­nity gen­er­ally caused by those who traf­fic in co­caine and other high or­der drugs.

Other than that, you are a rel­a­tively young man who comes to this court with high ref­er­ences and they are mat­ters that I take into ac­count.

The judge jailed Fo­ley to four years at­tempt­ing to pos­sess nine ounces of co­caine, three years for con­spir­acy, 18 months each for the counts of us­ing false iden­ti­fi­ca­tion - all sen­tenc­ing to be served con­cur­rently.

‘So that means that the to­tal sen­tence that you are to serve is one of seven years,’ said Judge Scott.

‘ They are State of­fences, as a con­se­quence of which the - in­so­far as eli­gi­bil­ity of pa­role is con­cerned, That means you’ll be first el­i­gi­ble at the ex­pi­ra­tion of five years from the com­mence­ment of the sen­tences.

‘ The sen­tences will be back­dated to and will com­mence on 4 Septem­ber 2015. That means that you’ll be first el­i­gi­ble for pa­role at the ex­pi­ra­tion of five years, be­ing five years from 4 Septem­ber 2015.’ said the judge.

Brian Thomas Fo­ley.

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